Yule Struttin', Albuquerque Style
On March 23-25, the Monterey Jazz Festival will hold the third annual Next Generation Festival for middle school, high school and college bands, combos, vocal ensembles and individual musicians who will compete for positions in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. The orchestra tours internationally and is featured on the Festival's Sunday afternoon program in September. The event also includes a composition competition for high school composers, with the winning piece to be performed at the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival.
The competition is accepting applications from bands and combos through January 24. The application process is free. Application forms may be downloaded at the MJF's web site.
The MJF has also named world-renowned trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard its 2007 artist-in-residence.
Happy Holidays . . .
After picking up a new CD, The Stan Kenton Christmas Carols, by the Boston Brass and Brass All-Stars Big Band (Summit 464), I was reminded (by Betty) that there are a large number of big-band Christmas albums available, and that copies of many are housed on the shelves in our garage. As it is now December, she said, it might be a good idea to share the names of some of them with those who read your column. So herewith are a number of seasonal albums (listed alphabetically) that are recommended listening...
Adventures in Jazz Orchestra, Celebrates Christmas (AJO). Air Force Airmen of Note, A Holiday Note from Home (AON); Christmas Time Is Here (AON). David Berger and the Sultans of Swing, The Harlem Nutcracker (Such Sweet Thunder). The Capitol Bones, A Stan Kenton Christmas (CB). Tom Kubis Big Band, A Jazz Musician's Christmas (Sea Breeze); You Just Can't Have Enough Christmas (Cexton); It's Not Just for Christmas Anymore (Cexton). Nils Lindberg, A Christmas Cantata (Proprius). Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, A Big Band Christmas (Concord Jazz). National Youth Jazz Orchestra (Great Britain), Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (NYJO); Big Band Christmas (NYJO).
Klaus Weiss/NDR Big Band, A Message From Santa Klaus (Minor Music). Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, Christmas Jazz, Vol. 6 (American Music Corp.). The New England Jazz Ensemble, Wishes You A Cookin' Christmas (Sea Breeze). North Carolina Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Holiday Jazz Blizzard (Valve Amplification Co.). Shorty Rogers, The Swingin' Nutcracker (RCA). University of Wisconsin/Eau Claire, Christmas Day, My Favorite Day (Sea Breeze Vista). Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, Well Seasoned. Stan Kenton Christmas Music (GW).
Another Reminder . . .
Mark your calendar now for the next Ken Poston/Los Angeles Jazz Institute big band spectacular: May 24-27 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel at LAX. Nineteen of the West Coast's leading big bands are scheduled to perform, and there'll be a special VIP bus trip May 23 to Balboa and the legendary Rendezvous Ballroom, first home of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, with dinner and a concert by the Mike Vax Big Band featuring Stan Kenton alumni. For information, log on to www.lajazzinstitute.org
And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin' . . .!
New and Noteworthy
1. Steve Cannon/Blow Hard Big Band, Full Blown (BRP)
2. Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra, In Progress (Pony Boy)
3. Taylor/Fidyk Big Band, Live At Blues Alley (OA2)
4. hr Big Band, Once In A Lifetime (TCB)
5. Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Dizzy's Business (MCG)
6. Phil Kelly & the NW Santa Ana Winds, My Museum (Origin)
7. Colin Byrne Jazz Orchestra, Leaving For Home (TDCB)
8. Forrest Buchtel's NYConfidential, Shhh! (Monk Music)
9. Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Clairvoyance (no label)
10. Shenandoah University Jazz Ensemble, Lullaby Of The Leaves (SU Jazz)
11. Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable (Palmetto)
12. Mt. Hood CC Jazz Band and Combo, My Foolish Heart (Sea Breeze Vista)
13. Temple Jazz Orchestra, This Is TJO (no label)
14. Northeastern State University, Appointment In Milano (NSU)
15. Marilyn Harris & the L.A. All-Stars Big Band, Round Trip (Wrightwood)